Introducing Cheikh M’Bengue: The Hard As Nails Left-Back Arsenal Are Chasing

The latest market rumour is sending the Toulouse wing back towards North London. Here are the reasons why we could once more concede that Arsene Wenger knows more about the Ligue 1 than the Ligue 1 coaches themselves.
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With £40m in the bank and the need for cover in the full-back positions, Wenger is said to be keen to bring the Senegalese to Arsenal...

On the first day of the Premier league, home to Sunderland, Kieran Gibbs and Carl Jenkinson occupied these two positions in the starting lineup. Despite being considered as promising players, they are not at the quality of the injured Bacary Sagna,

Then, obviously, a man like Wenger would look for what he needs where he knows most, inside the Ligue 1. Unluckily for him, wing backs are very much coveted right now all across Europe. Chelsea has just signed one of the best one playing in France, Spanish man Azpilicueta, while many a Premier League club tried to lure unsuccessfully Mathieu Debuchy across the channel. On top of this they will have to compete with financial giant Paris Saint-Germain which openly said they were looking for a Ligue 1 playing wing back.

But clearly, when it is about recruiting French league players, Wenger seems be much more efficient than a Qatari board and an Italian gaffer. This is the reason why Arsenal is currently negotiating with Toulouse for the signing of Cheikh M’Bengue.

Wenger could once more use his knowledge of the French market to a good extent; stealing one of the best wing back in the league ahead of Parisian multimillionaires.

M’Bengue is a 25 years old tough defender who was born in Toulouse and played, so far, his entire professional career in the south-western city of France. For the last few seasons he has been considered as one of the most consistent left-backs in the league, being an integral part of the club’s more than decent results. Unfortunately for him he his more famous for two facts:

First, in 2007, while on the verge of making his debut with the flagship team, he seriously injured a Monaco player during a reserves game, with a dangerous tackle. This postponed his professional debut by a mere 6 months. The same misfortune struck him again in 2009 when for the same reason (and once more against Monaco) he received a 2 month ban.

Second, his name got highlighted in the press just over a year ago when he publicly claimed he was willing to play at international level for Senegal and asked for a call-up. This would not be an issue if he hadn't played for France at every level to U-21. A month later he was picked for a CAN qualifying game, sealing his international future.

About his possible move to the Emirates, M’Bengue sounds ecstatic. He recently declared that he was not expecting to be called by Arsenal. He still has 2 years to go on his current contract and was not looking after a move. But “when a major club like this thinks about you, it’s a pleasure, very flattering. In addition, the Premier League is a league I would like to play in”.

The only problem could be the will of the strict Toulouse president who clearly stated that “the season has begun, nobody leaves the club”. Hard to believe when we hear that the club is on the verge of signing a left back from the Dutch league. Anyway, no doubt that a few million could make him change his mind though…

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